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So, You’ve Eaten a Horse Burger?

Horse Meat

If you read the news/go on Twitter/listen to the radio, you’ll no doubt be aware by now that several major supermarkets have cleared their shelves amidst findings from an independent report which showed beef burgers to contain up to 29% horse meat. The chances are, if you’ve eaten a burger from Tesco, you’ve probably eaten horse. Are you horrified?

I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, the fact that they’ve sold cheap horse meat under the guise of beef is wrong for MANY reasons. The cultural implications are mind boggling, especially as 85% of the burgers also contained pig DNA, so many a kosher Jew are probably feeling rather upset right now. Also, just for the plain old fact that if you PAY for beef and you get horse, that’s morally and financially wrong. It’d be called fraud in any other circumstance, surely?


What I don’t get is this; people are up in arms simply about the fact that they’ve eaten a horse and I just don’t get that mentality.

Why is a horse more sacred than a chicken, a cow or a turkey? With Christmas just gone by, are we not upset about the TEN MILLION turkeys eaten in the UK alone? I understand that people keep horses as pets and we’re all quite precious about not eating animals that are cute or handsome, but if it were a choice between my family needing food and Joey running free in the paddock, it’d be horse casserole for tea, I’m afraid.

I’m not hugely worldly when it comes to food I’ve tried but I’ve eaten kangaroo, deer and veal (though I will admit I wasn’t properly aware of what veal was before I ate it) and I just don’t get this thing that humans have about prioritising one type of animal over another when it comes to meat. Most people probably now know that pigs are as intelligent as dogs and while that’s led to a rise in the number of people keeping pigs as pets, I bet it’s barely affected the number of bacon sandwiches eaten by us Brits.

Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to why a horse is more important than a cow?

Until then, I’m going to be avoiding beef burgers; not because I don’t want to eat horse, but because if I’m buying beef it’s because I want to eat a cow!

9 thoughts on “So, You’ve Eaten a Horse Burger?

  1. i agree with you completely , when this all came out (and i cannot believe it was a year ago btw) i just thought so people may have eaten horse so what? people at all sorts of animals and meat is meat and it must have tasted like beef! it is only when you find out that you have eaten a meat that was not what you thought that the panic settles in! x

  2. i totally agree with the boy and me above. been a veggie for 30 years and feel everyone should realise wheat they are eating is an animal and face that too

  3. I’m not up in arms but I don’t think eating horse is the same as eating cow or fish. Horses are pets to some and working animals for others. Do we agree to eat a dog which is also a pet/working animal? Not in the UK at least.
    But think what pisses people off is not being told horse meat was in the burgers. I don’t care if my burger is made of minced fairies, as long as it says so on the box.

  4. I adore this post!

    I’m vegetarian and have been for 15 years. I chose to become one because I didn’t want to eat animals anymore as I felt it wrong (usually don’t get into this because I CBA with an argument but it’s relevant here). One of the things that annoys me is the sheer ignorance of meat eaters. Eat meat, I’m not going to stop you or shock you into not doing so. However, don’t be naive about where it comes from or how it got onto your plate. If you want to eat meat then I think the moral high ground needs to be lost here, as you say ‘what makes one animal more worthy than an other?’ An animal is an animal, be it a cow, duck, horse, elephant or kangaroo. There’s no point in acting aghast.

    As you say, really the only thing to get bolshy about is the fact you didn’t get what you thought you were buying!

  5. I’m not a big fan of horses and wouldn’t have a problem trying them for food (I do love my meat!) But I would like to know that I was eating it. I think the worrying thing is the investigations they are doing to find out how it got in there. Together with there being pork in them it makes you wonder what else was in them and where it came from and why no-one has found out before! Thankfully I’m pretty sure I haven’t eaten any.

  6. plenty of people eat horse by choice, and a lot of people are horrified by people eating beef. I dont buy pre packed beefburgers so it is not an issue for me, what puts me off is what piece of the beef is in cheap burgers not the fact it use to run round a field giving off methane gas. ….but Im in agreement its more an issue for people having pork in when their religion is against that.

  7. I have to admit I’m one of those people who has an issue with eating horse (though I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten a burger from any of the shops listed!), for all the reasons you’ve stated above and probably for the fact I used to own a horse whereas I’ve never owned a cow/pig/sheep/etc.
    I think it has to do with the cute & cuddly syndrome we seem to have, in that if we view something as cute then we don’t want to eat it.

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